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Rosacea: Best Natural Makeup

The best natural makeup for rosacea-prone skin contains no irritating ingredients, is fragrance-free and non-pore-clogging. Here are my favourite products!
May 3, 2021 | Joy McCarthy

Nearly 415 million people worldwide have been diagnosed by a dermatologist with rosacea however that number is much higher if you take into account people who have self-reported they have rosacea. Since I first starting talking about my own journey with rosacea including how I care for my skin naturally, the foods to avoid and the foods to eat, sooooo many people have reached out to me! 

Due to popular request, I am going to share the best natural makeup I use! When I have a flareup I cover it up and there ain't no shame in that! It makes me feel better about my skin. Sure, you could say you should feel beautiful with your sunburnt-bumpy-looking face but covering it makes me stress and obsess less. However, on a scale of 1 to 10, on a daily basis, my rosacea is a 1-3 in severity. See my before photos of 10/10 for severity and you will see how far I've come and that wasn't all that long ago.

So for me, it's 100% worth it to take an extra few minutes in the morning to make my face look less red. This is why I'm sharing my favourite natural make up with you because I can relate. I know what it's like to wake up in the morning when you've been eating so well, living a healthy lifestyle but your face still looks like someone slapped your cheeks and the texture is way off. I totally empathize with you. 

I have spent a lot of money over the years on natural products figuring out what works for my skin so I hope I save you a few bucks with this post. :)

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of my favourite products, I want to preface this by saying that everyone's skin and rosacea is different. What works for me, might not work for you.

If you haven't already read about my skincare routine where I outline the face wash and serums I use, I recommend checking that out that first. That's how I prep my skin before applying any makeup. 

If you're using products with ingredients that may irritate your skin, then start here before you begin looking at ways to cover it up. 

It goes without saying, but I will say it anyway that the products I use are free of parabens, irritating ingredients, alcohol, heavy oils, petrochemicals and of course, not tested on animals. There is no single ingredient that would aggravate sensitive skin unless of course, you have a specific allergy.

These recommendations will also work if you have sensitive skin!

First step: BB Cream with SPF

It is essential with rosacea-prone skin to wear an SPF of at least 30. I've talked about this BB Cream by Coola at length in other posts, so you can read about it here if you want more info. This BB Cream has a shine to it so if you're skin is really oily, this BB cream might not be right for you. Be sure to check Consonant's Perfect Sunscreen, I love this as well. Use code JOY for 10% off. If you're looking for more natural and clean options, check out this post on sunscreens the Joyous team loves. 

Second step: Colour corrector

Lily Lolo

I use this green colour corrector by Lily Lolo which is a pressed powder. It is a non-pore clogging formula made with jojoba oil which is one of my fave oils because it is very close to the sebum your skin naturally produces. It is specifically formulated for rosacea and acne-prone skin. I absolutely LOVE it. 

Why green? Green is the opposite of red on the colour spectrum. So when you put green over red (if you have Caucasian skin like mine) it neutralizes the redness. If you've got olive skin, it should work but you'll want to test it out first. For darker skin tones, peach, orange and red work best to neutralize purple and dark brown discolouration that people of colour experience.

How to use: Apply after your moisturizer and sunblock with a large blush brush. If you wear liquid foundation, this would be applied afterwards on any areas that appear red. I apply this before my final step with finishing powder. Be careful and don't overdo it or else you'll look nauseated! A little goes a long way. 

I've also used this colour corrector by Pacifica (above) which is a cream instead of a powder and you get all three colours. It is great all on its own, it just doesn't build well if you plan on putting a powder on top of it. I combined it with a bit of organic squalene oil to thin it out and it went on my face perfectly. Just to be clear, I don't use both the green Pacifica cream and the Lily Lolo powder. More often than not, I'm using only the Lily Lolo powder.

How to use: Apply this after your moisturizer and sunscreen. It's fairly thick, so you can thin it out in the palm of your hand as I mentioned above. Let dry and apply any makeup over top, like a finishing powder. 

This is another great concealer!

I have a lot of broken blood vessels around my nose from my days of constantly blowing my nose when I used to drink cow's milk Starbucks lattes. I was always congested. So I like this W3LL concealer stick when it seems redder than normal - which is sometimes just before my period. It comes in pretty much every skin tone - from pale ivory to deep cocoa and it's a plant-based formula.

Before I had rosacea, this was pretty much the only makeup product I used! I absolutely love the texture. This concealer stick is smooth and creamy. It doesn't clog pores and never makes me break out which is great when you consider I'm using it on the oiliest part of my face, around my nose. If you wanted a concealer for under your eyes, this would be a great choice. You can use a foundation brush to apply it, but since I use it on such a small area I just use my finger.

However, I'm currently investigating BBL to correct the broken blood vessels around my nose. I will do an update if I decide to go forward with it. 

Third and final step: Finishing powder

Since I don't use liquid foundation (only BB cream) because it always clogs my pores and I've tried so many different brands - I use this powder by Marie Natie. My skin just hates liquid foundation. I've tried thinning it out with moisturizer too and nope! My skin won't have it.

I love this powder because it ties everything together so nicely and I buy a colour a little darker than my skin, so it's like a bit of bronzer too. I only use a modest amount on my cheeks and nose. I do not put it in my chin. As you probably read in this post, my chin is a whole other ecosystem so I put nothing on my chin except the BB cream to keep it free from troubles! 

How to use: Apply after moisturizer and sunscreen as the final step. 

I also don't put any makeup under my eyes because it just emphasizes any fine lines but as I just mentioned, you could use the W3LL Narcissist Stick for under your eyes if you wanted. 

As for mascara, lip gloss or any of those enhancements, you can read this post. It's an older post, but I'm still using the same stuff! 

As you probably know, I do TV segments on Cityline and this is my TV makeup routine as well. The only thing different I do is brush the finishing powder on my whole face and I put it on a little heavier to remove any shine. But I always remove my makeup right after filming otherwise I will break out. My skin has to feel like it can breathe. 

If you have a brand you love that works great for rosacea, please share below! Or if you have a question about a brand, please ask because it's possible I've tried it. 

Next on my list is a post to share all the natural health supplements I'm taking and I've taken in the past. To give you a hint, one supplement that made the biggest difference to my skin, particularly the hormonal aspect of acne rosacea was AOR's Estro Adapt.

Wishing you beautiful skin from within!

Joy xo

Gail Grant   •   May 4, 2021

Love reading your hints about this! I hadn’t used makeup in years other than lipstick and eyeshadow as everything looked and felt awful and my cheeks went red and bumpy. Now I use Savvy mineral makeup- liquid mineral foundation very lightly, loose mineral powder and bronzer. I do like their lipsticks, glosses and lip lux conditioner. The eye shadows are lovely. I was so skeptical- but about two years after loving other Young Living products I did try it and am so glad. It is so clean and well researched - they do not allow so many ingredients that should be banned. Never having had makeup brushes I fell in love with the savvy brushes too. No one was more surprised than myself that I’m now wearing makeup more often💚 I also like that essential oils and other plant based products are used to help skin.

Joy McCarthy   •   May 4, 2021

Gail Grant   •   May 5, 2021

Yes, prices can appear higher but once I joined for free I received free gifts and earned points to use for whatever I want. Looking at high quality products elsewhere the prices are quite comparable. I think we just need to find what works for us from a well researched and lab supported company. Just be sure products contain no nano particles and the mica is from an ethical source not involving child labour. It’s so scary what some stuff for sale has origins in.

Joy McCarthy   •   May 5, 2021

Mel   •   May 7, 2021

Hi Joy. Have you tried pure simple’s flawless foundation ? I think it’s just a moisturizer with a tint so more like a bb cream . It’s very moisturizing and it also covers redness so I doubt you would need a colour corrector . You’ve probably tried it and perhaps found it heavier than the one you’re using . A the healthy mom’s store in the junction , my partner just bought a promising serum for rosacea . Check out aurum’s calming birch serum . I’m excited To try it . Very interesting ingredients !

Joy McCarthy   •   May 8, 2021

Melissa Agius   •   May 22, 2021

Can you recommend a daily sunscreen?

Joy McCarthy   •   May 25, 2021

Tania M   •   September 6, 2022

Thank you so much for all of the information Joy! I too developed rosacea at 40 and could 1000% relate to your podcast word for word. Cold wind, coffee, wine, chocolate and of course the monthly skin changes. I have tried many products and always prefer Canadian owned businesses. Foundation has been a tough one but I have recently discovered Merit. They have a foundation stick and I like the control I get over how much and where. I've also tried Ilia, but any of their formulas really irritate my skin within hours. I will definitely try some of the supplements you reco'd. Thank you again for sharing your experience and knowledge!

Joy McCarthy   •   September 6, 2022

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